Should someone run a brief Family Fortune-type survey, asking 100 people whether they believed there was any skill involved in winning when playing slot machines, a good number of respondents are likely to answer “no”.
There is a general vibe that players do little more than hit the spin button and then it is at the mercy of the machine as to whether any winnings materialise.
Although it is true that players have no control over how the reels eventually rest, there are strategies to master that can have an impact on the amount of money won and lost.
One of these relates to knowing the right occasions to bet maximum coins on a single reel spin or whether a wiser plan is to bet less.
Ultimately the decision comes down to the nature of the slot machine being enjoyed and the type of person that you are.
Arguably the biggest pull of playing slot machines is the potential to win a life-changing amount of money from a single spin of the reels. No other casino games can offer such sizeable amounts from such a relatively small stake.
No matter how much a casino visitor masters optimum blackjack strategy or embarks on a winning baccarat streak, such sums of money can only be dreamed about by those playing small stakes.
The way that progressive jackpots work are that numerous players are competing for the jackpot at the same time, across a collection of different venues.
Each time someone within any of these establishments bets into a progressive jackpot machine, the jackpot pot increases by that amount. That is until the jackpot is won, at which time it resets and the process of building it up begins again.
Typically to be in contention to win these progressive jackpots, a player has to be betting maximum coins when spinning the reels.
Any spin where less than the maximum coins is wagered will invariably mean that on the spin, it is impossible to scoop the jackpot on offer.
Therefore, those who play on a progressive jackpot slot without betting the maximum are doing little more than topping up the overall pot for someone who is.
It is important for any player to know what they qualify for should they bet maximum coins and, perhaps more importantly, what extras they receive over those staking less than the top amount.
This is why it is essential for players to check and understand the paytable of a particular machine before spinning its reels.
There are plenty of machines that do not require the maximum to be staked in order to activate certain features, such as bonus rounds or free spins.
Logically, players are best served to stake the minimum required to trigger such features, which again may not be maximum coins.
Alternatively, some machines may promise a single jackpot for betting single coins, but a double jackpot for wagering double coins. However, there is no enhancement in the likelihood of nailing the jackpot for betting twice the amount.
Therefore, players are not really gaining any sort of bonus for their additional stake and so may be better to stick to betting the standard amount.
If a player sits down at a slot machine with a budget of £100 and it costs £10 to bet maximum coins on a single spin, it is a fairly obvious statement to suggest that this could run out almost immediately.
Even a small cold streak will empty the bankroll entirely and not ultimately provide any sort of value for money.
By betting fewer coins or fewer lines, players can ensure their bankroll lasts longer. Otherwise, they could prioritise playing a different slot that requires a lower maximum bet to stretch their budget further.
Players do need to prioritise playing a slot that fits their budget, particularly if they have aspirations of guaranteeing their play for a longer period.
Players have to be honest with themselves before they begin staking, in terms of how they would feel if the reels spun perfectly to trigger a jackpot, but they missed out on the full value by virtue of not having staked maximum coins.
Would they be content to win a chunk of the jackpot on the basis that they staked less on the spin, or would they be annoyed for months that their staking decision had potentially cost them a substantial sum of money?
For players who would struggle to get over this eventuality, they may be better staking maximum coins just in case.